The NBA, Nike, and their TV partners (ABC and TNT) have been selling this dream finals ever since LeBron was drafted No. 1 overall.
Everything has been done by these two franchises to see this dream final comes to pass, a Kobe-LeBron finals will be a blockbuster series in every way possible and in these hard times, the league and its partners really needs it.
So, what have they done so far to make this dream a reality?
Kobe and LeBron have arguably the first and second best teams in the NBA, Kobe is a part of perhaps the best ran sports franchise in America and they have once again put together a cast of talent that can continue winning championships for the next two to three years.
LeBron on the other hand has an organization faced with the presence of a once in a generation talent and just like the Chicago Bulls in the late 80’s, they are working tirelessly to ensure they are able to get the best result possible out of this talent.
The Cleveland Cavalier’s are faced with the possibility of losing LeBron to a big market franchise and have thus put together a squad built to win a championship today.
Now, let’s talk reality.
The Los Angeles Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers face some very tough challenges this year in the playoffs.
From the article Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in a World of Trouble (Berber-shop Conversations)">Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in a World of Trouble (Berber-shop Conversations) :
In two previous seasons the Lakers have always played their best basketball at the end of the regular season and roar into the playoffs, this season they literally crawled into the playoffs.
Kobe had been carry this team all season long and it’s continuing again in the playoffs. In game two of the first round playoffs series against the Oklahoma Thunder, no one on the Lakers team was willing to take a shot and the best closer in the game today essentially grabbed the ball and said "Stop me," scoring 15 fourth-quarter points, including six consecutive after the Lakers fell behind.
That has become the mantra of this Lakers team; Derek Fisher just looks tired, Bynum can’t stay healthy, Artest can’t seem to pick up the triangle offense, Lamar and Gasol though solid on some nights are still performing disappearing acts most nights.
The Lakers bench the main reason they won last year seems to be more than content with the ring they already won. This team has become so dependent on Kobe that Phil Jackson played the 14 year veteran an average of 40 minutes a game this season.
Click here to read the complete article.
In the second round series between the Los Angelis Lakers and the Utah Jazz this trend continues, in game one the black mamba had to take over the game again in the fourth quarter while everyone else just sat back from the best seats in the arena and watched Kobe win another game for them.
Yes, the rest of he’s cast came around and helped out in game two with Bynum, Gasol, and Odom posting double-doubles and crushing the spirit of the Utah jazz in the fourth quarter.
And like I said above, this has become the major issue with the Lakers. Kobe’s supporting cast have not been consistent and though they are the best team in the league talent wise, they don’t play like it on most nights.
The West has some of the NBA’s best talents as evident in the The NBA’s Best Players 2009-2010 A-List Edition with the West having more players ranked than the East teams.
Click here to see the complete list.
NBA History reveals that experience will always beat talent and with the west boosting some of the best talents and experience, the Lakers inconsistencies might have worked well to eliminate the young and inexperienced Oklahoma Thunder and might be good enough to eliminate the shorthanded Jazz.
But, the second Western conference semi final has two of the most consistent and experienced teams still left in the playoffs in San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns.
From the article Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in a World of Trouble (Berber-shop Conversations) : San Antonio by virtue of the talent and experience on the team are the Lakers true threat if they ever meet. The other true contender is the Phoenix Suns.
Steve Nash who in the article The NBA’s Best Players 2009-2010 was ranked number two by the A-List team and deservingly so, is playing at a different level, no matter which players are removed or added to this team the Phoenix Suns never miss a beat.
The Suns have the personal to match up well against the Lakers and have the experience needed too.
The Spurs and the Suns unlike the Lakers are playing the best basketball of any team right now and everyone on the squad contributes equally helping the stars on the teams to play more relaxed basketball.
If the Lakers don’t start playing consistent basketball, look for the Spurs or the Suns in the NBA Finals.
Unlike Kobe who is playing for arguably the best coach in the game today in Phil Jackson, LeBron James biggest problem in my opinion is he’s coach.
While Mike Brown seems to be a very good defensive coach…he has no idea has to run an offense.
Daniel Gibson, Delonte West, and Mo Williams are all good point guards in some respects and yet LeBron James runs the offense while everyone else stands around. Mike Browns strategy: give the ball to LeBron and hope for the best.
Last year’s Eastern conference Finals, Mike Brown was out coached by Van Gundy and his excuse: we couldn’t stop Dwight Howard. Ok, now they have Shaquille O’Neal and in the three games this year against the Orlando Magic Dwight was completely subdued. So I guess that took care of that. So now we await this year’s excuse.
From the article LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers a runaway Freight Train The Cleveland Cavalier are the deepest and the most complete team in East, with the addition of Antawn Jamison and Shaquille O’Neal the Cavs are a match-up nightmare for the best in the League and that’s where the problem begins for the rest of the East.
Boston, Orlando and the Atlanta Hawks are the other good teams in the east and each team has its own major issues.
In a team with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo has become the super star, as the other stars on the team continue to struggle while Rondo has been as steady as a rock and the main reason they are still competitive. With stats like PPG: 13.7 RPG: 4.40 APG: 9.8 Rondo is ranked 12th on The NBA’s Best Players 2009-2010 by the A-List and is the only Boston Celtic on the top 15. Click here to see the complete List.
But, experience will always beat talent, hence pedigree says that, by virtue of the championship rings that litter their starting lineup—the Celtics are the only team in the East with Championship experience. From the article LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers a runaway Freight Train . Click here to read the complete article.
Everyone seems to have written off the Boston Celtics as old and tired and already placed LeBron and the Cavs in the NBA Finals. The only problem with that is: the Celtics might be old but you can be rest assured, they are not tired.
This is a championship caliber group of guys and just like the San Antonio Spurs in the west, these guys know how to win it all.
The Orlando Magic on the other hand looked like they are ready to make a run again at the NBA finals with a very impressive beat down of the Atlanta Hawks in game one of the Eastern Conference semi finals.
Again from the article LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers a runaway Freight Train : The Magic are the biggest disappointment in my book and Van Gundy is up to his old tricks. In Miami he was unable to include Shaq into his offense; Pat Riley took over and won a championship.
Then for some dumb reason the Orlando Magic with a younger version of Shaq in Dwight Howard hired a coach who does not know how to use big men in his offensive strategies.
Dwight Howard is not a part of the offense, he makes his baskets from rebounds or a pass to him after all other options has been exhausted. A team like this cannot be a threat to a team like the Cavs or the Celtics.
So, will the Cavs meet the Lakers in the Finals? Or better still, are we going to have a LeBron-Kobe Final?
A consistent Lakers team and a change in Mike Brown’s strategy is what is needed to have that dream come true this year.
We don’t know how many good years Kobe really has in him.
So if it doesn’t happen this year, it might never happen again.